Mount Kisco justice ordered to leave bench

The state commission on judicial conduct has recommended Justice Joseph Cerbone be removed from the bench. Part of the reason is his outspoken criticism in court of District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.

Cerbone still has the opportunity to appeal within 30 days, but no decision has been made.

The 68-year-old attorney has also served as a part-time village justice since 1979. In 2002, Cerbone got in trouble for misusing client funds and had his license suspended for a year. And back in 1996, after Westchester's District Attorney Jeanine Pirro raised objections, Cerbone was admonished for asking a woman to drop assault charges against one of his former legal clients.

According to the commission's report, Justice Cerbone was acting vindictively, seeking retaliation against Pirro. He required defense attorney's to fill out a form letter, which stated that he had no personal relationship with the defendant who was about to appear before him in court. Cerbone then sent those letters to Pirro's office.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney told News 12 Westchester the commission's ruling speaks for itself.

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